Posts tagged Bridgetown

Cruisin’ to St. Lucia

For the whole time we have lived in Barbados (all 15 months), people have been raving about the Carnival Victory. This cruise ship leaves San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sundays, and arrives in Bridgetown Barbados, the following Wednesday. This is the only other spot you can embark and disembark the ship and Carnival reserves a small number of cabins. Since Ian and I wanted to see some of the other islands while we are living in the Caribbean, we thought this would be an easy way to do so.

It was very exciting to see the ship docked at the wharf in Bridgetown, and it looks soooo much bigger than I thought. And I think this is one of the small ones.  After checking in and dropping off our luggage, we went to the side to watch the ship cast off. 

 In the distance, you can see the Hilton hotel, this was where we stayed on our first trip to Barbados, while looking for a place to live. We used to be able to see the cruise ships from our balcony, never imagining we would be on one ourselves.

Another ship was docked beside us, and yes, it was even larger.

 

You can see the very busy port, like all the other islands, everything arrives in Barbados through here.

This little tugboat was making sure we got out ok.

Imagine my surprise, when the captain of the ship started backing up the ship into this channel on preparation for turning around. That is a very good driver!

We left Bridgetown at 5:00 so within an hour it was dark, and after dinner and all the various entertainments on the ship, sleep was calling my name. I could sleep all the way to our first destination, St. Lucia.

One of the nicest things about cruising was the easy on/easy off arriving at the other islands. No hours (at least that is what it feels like), waiting to go through immigration, just walk off the ship. While we were in St. Lucia, we were going to have lunch with a friend of mine. David Leeman is a gardener in Toronto, and he volunteers at the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens every winter.  He has come out to Barbados and visited us, we even went to the Barbados Garden Show earlier in the year, but this would be my first chance to visit him.

The cruise ship docked in Castries, which is the capital city of St. Lucia, and we were heading to Soufriere, so after finding a taxi, we began the 1 1/2 hour drive and got to see some sights on the way.

Look at our cruise ship in the port, another one  was entering as we were driving up the hill.

St Lucia is very hilly, and it takes a long time to drive along the coast. The road has a lot of “Z” curves, it reminded Ian and I of visiting Switzerland, lots of honking as you go around the corners, warning of your approach.

Marigot Bay was where the original Dr. Doolittle was filmed back in 1967. I remember seeing this when I was a child, and I loved it! Now I shall have to watch it again, to see how this bay looked back then.

The fishing villages are beautiful, the bright colours showing up from a distance.

Local art.

 

We drove through the rain forest on our way, and I was astonished to see tree ferns growing wild be the side of the road.

And at last, the Pitons rising majestically in the distance.

Since we had time, we went to Sulphur Springs, St. Lucias ‘drive in’ volcano. As soon as you get near it, you can smell the sulphur in the air.  According to our guide, the volcano acts as a safety valve, releasing small amounts of pressure, equalling, no major eruption. But watch out if all the animals flee, they are one of the predictors for an eruption.

 You can see the minerals in the water, they have hardened over the years.

 Although lots of people were partaking in the mud baths, we were on our way for lunch, maybe another time.

We finally arrived at the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens to meet David.

The Old Mill

Such a beautiful place and lunch was yummy, including a green banana salad, I had never heard of it before.  We ate at the  Old Mill,  which was originally built to crush sugar cane back in 1765. 

The Waterwheel

After the collapse of the sugar cane industry in St Lucia, it was used to crush limes for the oil, and then later in its life, generate electricity for the town of Soufriere.

This aqua duct (over Ian and Davids head) was used to bring water from the river, and power the wheel for the electricity.

In another part of the garden are the baths that were originally built in 1784 for the troops of King Louis XVI.  The mineral baths which are fed by a hot spring, are full of minerals and are thought to be therapeutic. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to test that thought, and I was crushed when the battery went on my camera, so sorry, no photos. But Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens has their own website, so you can get a look at them there.

I just got a photo of the entrance to the private baths, look at the maidenhair ferns that have self seeded in the wall. You can also visit David Leemans blog, he has lots more info and photos of the lovely place he calls home in the winter.

P.S. David just e-mailed me some photos that he took during our visit in St. Lucia, a couple more photos of that amazing wall,

the waterfall,

 I believe these are garden areas that he designed himself, very talented,

 

Next stop, St. Kitts…

 

 

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Cruisin’

“Baby, lets cruise away from here”

That is what Ian said to me after he found out that the Carnival Victory not only stops in Bridgetown, but reserves cabins for us locals, who want to embark and disembark in Barbados.

 

Not our ship, this was taken in Nassau

 

So we are on a 7 day cruise, visiting some neighbourhood islands, and I will be sure and give you the full report when we return.

Lyrics by Smokey Robinson

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My New Digs

I always enjoy looking for a new place to live, I love checking out different ‘lifestyles’, could it be because I am nosy?  Nah….

The bank hired a relocation firm to help us, and Susan was brilliant!!!!  She was always cheerful and upbeat and pointed out potential problems that we might never had thought off.

One fun time was a trip to the grocery store.  As most of the food on Barbados is flown in, it can be very expensive. After a pricey breakfast at the hotel we were staying in, we decided to buy a box of Kellogg Raisin Bran and have breakfast in our room. It was $10 US. Holy moley, our habits well have to change a bit.  Susan introduced us to Caribbean brands like Sunshine cereals, and explained what some of the more unusual produce in the vegetable aisle was called and how to cook it, so informative.

So, back to our new home.  It is on the west coast of Barbados, just north of Speightstown. Ian is working in Bridgetown, which is quite a drive, and will be even more, as it is on the opposite side of the road to what we are used too.  I foresee many, many very early driving trips, the roundabouts will be an experience in themselves.

The complex is located on the beach with a lagoon in the middle, for all the owners boats. (Ian has already been scoping out the sailboats).

There is a wooden boardwalk to the pool, which is on an island in the lagoon, with a small restaurant and bar (I have been scoping out that, lol). 

We are on the third floor (top floor) and have a three bed, three bath, apartment. It comes furnished, like our flat in London did, not quite our taste, but very livable.

The living room.

Our bedroom

Our huge bed!

Your room

 

Or perhaps you prefer this room, that is no problem, your choice

The best part is the terrace. The only table is on it, so that tells me the weather is always nice enough to eat outside, something I am looking forward to.

When you read my future blog posts, you can picture me sitting here, writing them

 Or maybe I will sit here

Unfortunately, I don’t have my own garden, although I can have plants on my terrace. There are a team of gardeners who take care of the place, so I shall have to make friends with them. Perhaps when they are pruning, they will think of me.

There is also a yacht club, on a point of land, that extends out from the complex like a comma.

You can see the entrance to the lagoon in the centre of the complex

You have to be a member to go there, and luckily the owners are, so we will get to use it as well. 

There is another pool, restaurant and even a pool table, Ian and I will be able to keep up our skills.

Ian and our real estate agents discussing the finer points of pool.

 You can see the beach from here

We move in December 1st, so we will be spending Christmas on the beach, looking forward to it

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